Project Management Software
Specialists in Project Infrastructure
Some companies have implemented exit interviews to develop information for retention strategies. Unfortunately this is a reactive rather than proactive strategy. Further, they assume the exiting employee will be honest, which is not necessarily the case, as he/she may not want to "burn bridges" and therefore give more acceptable answers such as compensation rather than discuss the real issues.
As a result of a survey, some key drivers why employees leave an organization were developed. If the manager understands what they can do to promote or utilize these drivers, they can create an effective methodology to keep personnel in their jobs.
Individual development needs to be a manager’s top priority to retain their employees.
Creating “employability policies” can have numerous effects on employee performance. For instance, it can create an organizational commitment, trust and loyalty to the firm and manager, and company performance and institutional expertise.
For instance, at
The challenge, which promotes individual development, is especially important in the IT field. Rotating projects can also promote this challenge.
Training and tuition reimbursement programs encourage individual development. Technical training is a growing trend.
In the same realm of technical training also “involves virtual learning or "e-learning" as a training method. Virtual training systems are software- or Internet-based, and they enable companies to train employees in various locations or at different times with consistent methods.
IBM has joined this venture through its IBM Global Campus (IGC), its internal education portal. It enables you to search the worldwide IBM Course catalog and enrol in e-learning or classroom courses (IBM, 2003).
Companies like 3M are expanding their training programs to include development of leadership. For instance, they maintain two programs.
The reasoning that 3M gives is that
To go a step further,
Formal development and training plans set goals for the individual that allow them concrete envisioning of their development.
In terms of development, managers need to maintain one very important view such as at Mitsubishi where they view
For this reason, individual development is essential in all economic conditions.
This driver works in conjunction with individual development. How can an employee advance their career without training and learning? However, a career path to get to advancement is just as important.
Companies like Lucent and MicroStrategy exemplify this.
In the same regard,
Career advancement is important because employees want to progress.
Recognition and Rewards
Not only is a competitive salary important to retention, but also recognition for a job well done and rewards for completing such work is also critical. Employees want to be recognized for their contributions to your organization. Managers giving employees a kind word or a pat on the back can go a long way in motivational attitudes. To effectively motivate and retain, firms and managers must show they value employees.
Other methods of recognition include an awards system. Employers at the Ritz-Carlton give employee awards for excellence in a wide variety of areas. Fellow employees can give awards such as their Five-Star award or awards can be determined by managers as in their Hero Club award.
Team awards can also be given to groups of individuals.
Even the assignment to a hotel new start-up assignment “convey[s] a sense of pride and self-esteem that is the core of Ritz-Carlton's employee satisfaction process.” (Best Practices, 2000).
One last option is a referral incentive reward. Employees can be rewarded for recruiting.
When you do hire the referral, remember do not “pay new hires more than existing IT staffers who helped you achieve growth” (Roberts, n. d.).
The employee needs to feel a sense that they are in control of their work environment. Managers can facilitate this through options such as flexible work schedules. This is increasingly becoming a motivator for employees. In fact some employees would accept a pay cut in order to have variable work options.
If a manager has the ability to curb absenteeism and increase productivity using this method it is by far an excellent approach. For example at Eastern Health Systems they offer shift options.
Another approach is through telecommuting. This work method allows employees to work in virtual teams or collaborate online. This is sometimes referred to as a
Through these options employees feel that they are
Retaining Top Talent
One of the managers many duties is to retain the top employees within the organization. If a manager fails to do this, retention suffers. For instance, a survey conducted in 2001 by McKinsey & Co. found that corporate officers seemingly are alert to the shortcomings of their companies' talent-management efforts. Among respondents, 75% say their companies are either "chronically talent-short across the board" or "suffer from insufficient talent sometimes”, and only 33% think their companies attract highly talented people. Even fewer – just 10% – believe their companies are good at retaining high performers” (Weddle, 2002). As such, the employee has to utilize the other drivers here to ensure that top talent is retained.
Respect for Employees
Respect between managers and employees is in both directions. To get respect you must give respect. Methods that managers may use to respect their employees are numerous. A few are related here. For instance, the importance of family cannot be understated. Managers must understand family commitments outside of the work place to not only include issues like day care, but also time off to take care of, and be with family.
Treat your employees with kindness and respect since they are an integral part of your organization. Maintain a strong business relationship to facilitate a flow of information. This creates a feeling of importance and appreciation. Managers can do this by finding a common ground with employees and build connections from there. Comment on something in their work area that can start a conversation and foster that bond. (Michaud, 2001).
When complimenting employees, do it often and in public. This will build morale and demonstrates that their self-esteem is important to you. Employees that are treated this way will seek to show their appreciation by doing a job well. Not only praise, but defending your employees when necessary also shows respect. Do not berate them for making mistakes, especially in public. Treat mistakes as training expenses so that the employee will not be fearful of your wrath. This will facilitate
Lastly, listen to your employees. They will gladly share their needs and issues about their job. Do not dismiss their thoughts as unimportant. Understand your employees and give them your full attention to make them important. A formal method of doing this is through employee surveys.
One of the aspects in the employee work place is the direct supervisor.
The supervisor is the gage by which employees come to know the company. Supervisors must gain their employees respect. Therefore as a manager it is important that training of supervisors be conducted. Companies that conduct such training can enjoy a lower turnover rate. Managers should ensure that the company “uses a portion of its development budget for training supervisors and managers in "people" skills” (Putman, 2002).
Requiring a minimum amount of annual training is instrumental in making this happen. Courses attended should
This transitions the discussion into the next driver.
The lack of an effective leadership role by managers and supervisors is a reason that some employees leave an organization. Communication is one element that will foster an effective leadership role. Communication can promote the other drivers already discussed. Management must be strong and fair-minded to boost retention numbers. Leaders should actively discuss issues of employee talent in the same regard as the corporate budget.
Another part of this role is the leader must stimulate employees to do their best. They must not only promote the goals of the company, but also be able to be likable to resolve employee needs. Managers must recognized the unique skills their employees offer and their contribution to the company. Be aware of personality differences between the manager and the employee. This can have a major impact in retention.
Another problem with leadership is that
Companies like 3M are advocating this. 3M has developed training classes related to personal leadership. It
In this leadership development, companies are recognizing that its development is integral to employee retention.
This makes the company well rounded.
Other issues besides the key drivers need to be addressed. One is culture fit.
Employee fit, as has already been discussed, should be assessed during recruitment. Fit incorporates four areas:
Sometimes the intangible items attribute to employee retention.
Additionally, external factors such as
For instance in the current labor market, employee retention is high with unemployment. If there is intense competition for labor, organizations may offer employees incentives to leave their current organization. Even though the manager needs to be aware of these external factors, the key drivers that have been discussed are the instrumental tools that can prevent stealing of employees.
Defined Retention Strategies
The company and manager that formally define their retention strategy that they are practicing will be more successful in lowering costs for the company. Defined retention strategies keep managers aware of what they must do on a daily basis.
Addicam Sanjay has over 7 years experience in the Consumer Electronics Industry in Technical as well as Management positions. His primary focus is in producing Home networking software with quick turn around time and with engineers spread in multiple geos. Sanjay received his Masters in Information technology from University of Maryland. His other works are available at http://members.cox.net/asanjay
Project Perfect is a project management software consulting and training organisation based in Sydney Australia. Their focus is to provide creative yet pragmatic solutions to Project Management issues.
Project Perfect sell “Project Administrator” software, which is a tool to assist organisations better manage project risks, issues, budgets, scope, documentation planning and scheduling. They also created a technique for gathering requirements called “Method H”, and sell software to support the technique. For more information on Project tools or Project Management visit www.projectperfect.com.au
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